First Estimate This PM -- Any Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by eruuska, Jan 14, 2005.

  1. eruuska

    eruuska LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 454

    Hey everyone,

    I spent a few hours and put about 500 flyers in area newspaper boxes (not mailboxes!) and my first call came in this morning. I'm going this afternoon to walk the property and give an estimate. Any last-minute suggestions? I know the "well-groomed and cleanly dressed" routine, but if anyone has anything to add, please chime in!


    Midas Touch Outdoor Services
  2. Del9175

    Del9175 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 352

    Be sure to listen and address any concerns the customer might have. Make sure you leave their knowing exactly what the customer wants and expects from you and they know what you expect from them. Ask questions if you have any, and most of all be confident. Being this is your first estimate you may be nervous but try not to let them see that. Good luck. I have always enjoyed the excitement of not knowing what you're going to find when you get there.
  3. twins_lawn_care

    twins_lawn_care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 932

    don't feel bad if they don't accept your bid, and don't change your price to get the job. setting a predicence is important, and if they know from the start all they have to do is complain and you will lower your rate, then they will every time you work for them. get your numbers together, and give a good bid for what you need to make, and stick to it. work will come eventually at your price. good luck with it, the first one always is a positive feeling!
  4. eruuska

    eruuska LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 454

    Thanks, guys, for all the suggestions. I ended up getting the mowing contract (already signed), plus a job clearing saplings and such out of a previously nice but now overgrown area. I'll keep quiet about how much I bid on that part until I see if I hosed myself. :D I don't think I did, but I've never done that type of work professionally. We'll see.

    Thanks for all the help, I'm sure I'll be back for more!

    Midas Touch Outdoor Services
  5. Mclaughld

    Mclaughld LawnSite Member
    Messages: 85

    So you got the job. Tell us about it, were you nervous? How did you start it off? What was the person like? Was it what you expected? Anything you'd change next time you do an estimate?
  6. eruuska

    eruuska LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 454

    I can't say I was really nervous. I had talked to her over the phone a little and frankly wasn't expecting for it to go anywhere. She's an 82 year old lady who lives alone, and she told me that she figured I'd be pretty expensive. I got there for the estimate and walked the property with her, discussed what areas were to be mowed, what areas are beds (hard to tell with snow on the ground), etc. I told her how much it would be per week, how much the cleanup would be, and she did the math in her head as to annual cost and said "I think I can afford that", and I went to the car to get the contract. She signed 2 copies, we each kept one, and it's a done deal.

    If I had to change one thing, I may have bid $5 per week higher for the mowing. I will next time, but $5 per week ain't gonna kill me.

    I want to hit the ground in April with 30 customers. 1 down, 29 to go. :cool:
  7. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Messages: 3,556

    Well if you have 30 customers, and you know you could have gotten $5 more each week.... Thats a decent amount of money!!! Thats about $750 EXTRA a month....

    But its only your first account, so just make sure you ad the $5 to your bid on the next 29 :)

    Good luck!!! Better get those flyers out.... From what I have done, seen, and read.... Theres only a 1% return rate on flyers.... So to get 30 customers, you should pass out 30k flyers.... However, If you get 15 customers by April, and do a EXTREMELY good job in april + you will get word of mouth like crazy, and by June you'll most likley have more than even 40 accounts.... Trust me, word of mouth is the way to go. Granted you must do a really good job, and make them pay the PREMIUM PRICE for you services. From what I've learned this past year.... Word of Mouth works outstanding, and most people LIKE to be charged!!! Hope this helps!!!

    Good Luck!!!!
  8. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    Geez, you'd think he just had sex for the time! LOL!
    :p :D
  9. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,569

    Dude, Mark! You shoulda stayed in school :p ....1% of 30K is 300!

    30 would be 1% of 3000..........NOT 30,000...... :dizzy:
  10. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Messages: 3,556

    I know, I realized that like 10min later.... What can I say, simple mistake, I didnt read it before I posted. BTW. I am still in school buddy :) :waving:

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